Wills are one type of probate record that can help you learn more about the family group. Many wills are not online but are accessible through the county or parish courthouse. Using the will of George Aughinbaugh of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, follow along to learn how you would connect to records where you can learn more about your ancestor.
Wife and business partners
George Aughinbaugh and his partners (George Sheaffer and Samuel Meyers) owned a store which he trusted his partners to dispose of when he died. He next made provisions for his wife:
To my beloved Ann S. Aughinbaugh, I give all such of my household furniture, as she may think proper to keep (except what I give to my sister) and the residue of my said furniture to be sold, and the proceeds thereof to be paid to my said wife for the support of herself and our children until interest for that purpose can be raised from other funds.
You learn from the first portion of the will that George’s wife’s name is Ann S. Aughinbaugh, and they have children. The will was probated in 1842. George appears on the 1840 Census for Carlisle, Cumberland, Pennsylvania which matches the area stated in his will. Only the head of household is listed by name on the 1840 Census. It appears his household consists of:
· two females between the ages of 20 and 30
· one male under five
· one male between 15 and twenty
· one male between 20 and 30
A search for Ann S. Aughinbaugh on the 1850 Census does not yield anything at this point, however, a Zion German Lutheran Church marriage record for George Aughinbaugh to Ann Sophia Mytinger on November 9, 1837 was found among the collection, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Town Records, 1708-1985. More research would be in order, but the middle name of Ann (Sophia) matches the initial S. in George’s wife’s name on his will.
Sisters and father
Next, George shows his affection for two sisters and mentions his father’s name which is rare being his father was deceased:
To my sister, Susan Aughinbaugh, in addition to the bed, bedding, dressing table, bureau, …. Which she already has, I give and bequeath the carpet in my back parlour, six chairs now in the same parlour; the stove and pipe in the front room upstairs; the gilt frame looking glass, in the room over the dining room, and six silver teaspoons.
Susan Aughinbaugh appears on the 1850 Census living with the family of George’s former business partner named in the will.
To my sister, Mary Alexander, I give and bequeath the portrait of our father, Barret Aughinbaugh, Esq, deceased.
Without the name of Mary Alexander’s husband, it is too difficult at this point to locate her on a census in 1840 or 1850. It was easy to locate George’s father. A total of 16 people are in the household of Barrett Aughinbaugh on the 1830 Census in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. From George’s will, you can guess Barret died somewhere between 1830 and 1842. Where would you look next?